Photo:ITA-ATU (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons

Shopping Paradise of Western Tokyo: Lalaport in Tachikawa Tachihi

Lalaport in Tachikawa, Tachihi–what a splendid sight to behold at night! With an illuminated fountain that changes colors by the entrance, to gold-colored lighting on the outside where restaurants line, to a second-floor patio that leads straight to Tachihi station! This large mall is a shopper’s paradise, attracting people coming straight from work on weekdays, or couples enjoying a date night on the weekend. The night I went (on a Saturday), many families were relaxing in the outside play area, with children playing at the center of it.

Their second-floor food court overlooks the Tama Monorail and is quite expansive. Tachihi is a short train ride away (just a few stops) from Tachikawa station on the peaceful Tama Monorail.

Lalaport in Tachikawa has an elegant feel compared to, say, Lalaport Fujimi in Saitama, which is a bit larger in space. With over 250 stores and restaurants at Lalaport in Tachikawa, you could go several times and not get bored. It has a large Uniqlo clothing store, and has discount bins galore. The GU store, which is kind of like an H&M store and has branches all over Tokyo, features fun and trendy clothes, like the current peasant tops and skirts, to affordable jewelry, dresses, tons of fun t-shirts, pajama sets and even shoes and sandals! The prices are very good, and there are added incentives to download the GU app to get a few hundred yen off, for example. And not only does it have women’s fashion, but kids’ and men’s too!

I was really surprised to see a PinkBerry, which is a frozen yogurt store! Frozen yogurt is really popular in the United States, and how fun that it’s making its way across Japan too! This one had your plain frozen yogurt flavor, and also a matcha (green tea) flavor! That’s a little different from the pomegranate or caramel flavors I have seen in New York City. If you need your coffee or chocolate fix, there’s a nice Starbucks on one end and a Godiva store on the other!

There’s a great big Tokyu Hands to get all your eclectic items, such as leather crafts, random kitchen items that you won’t see in most places, and organic hair care.

There’s an Eggs ‘n Things on the first floor, featured in the outside dining. It specializes in Hawaiian food and pancakes stacked and piled high with whipped cream, and the inside and outside of the restaurant is decorated really well with a Hawaiian theme.

Japanese dollar store Seria

Coca has trendy clothes (mostly women’s, from what I saw) that have a boutique-like feel. Prices are higher than GU, but comparable to Uniqlo’s. It’s worth checking out if you like to stay trendy. The quality of the items were nice—some of the dresses felt to be made of rather nice materials.

Lalaport closes at 9 p.m. so you can stay inside until a decent hour. There’s a grocery store on the first floor (Blooming Bloomy by Inageya) which is a very beautiful grocery store with many nice gourmet items. This stays open until 10 p.m. so you could always swing by after an evening of shopping to grab prepared foods to eat there (couches and eating area behind the cash registers) or grab your grocery needs to take home. To take the monorail home, you can find the walkway on the 2nd floor that leads onto a beautiful patio, where you pass the restaurant Café Amigo on your left, and walk straight to the Tachihi station. I found the monorail ride home to be quiet and pleasant, with trains coming fairly frequently in my experience (I may have waited 15 minutes for mine).

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